Devin Nunes has been dodging constituents for years, and they're noticing.
Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) constituents are starting to notice just how far he’ll go to avoid interacting with the people in his district.
“I recall when Devin Nunes early in his career came to a realtors Thursday morning meeting to address concerns of the real estate community and no one had to pay,” a constituent named Rod Palmer wrote in a letter to Nunes’ hometown paper, The Fresno Bee.
“Now if you want to have concerns addressed, you must pay up to $2,700, be vetted and meet at a secret meeting place,” Palmer continued. “This is not the type of representation one should expect from an elected official.”
Nunes has not held an open town hall event since 2010. And as Palmer notes, any constituent who wants to see Nunes has to go to some pretty extraordinary lengths.
Tickets for several recent Nunes fundraisers topped out at $2,700, and attendees weren’t told where the events were located until after they were vetted.
At least some of those events required attendees to provide a raft of personal information before being given the location and time of the event, and required guests to specify who invited them. And all attendees were advised they would be subject to search.
Nunes’ contempt for his own constituents goes even further than dodging them.
At one of his private events, Nunes mocked the “goofy” priorities of California residents, and described his own region as “the land of fruits and nuts.”
When constituents showed up at Nunes’ congressional district office in August to support Medicare and Social Security, his staff called the cops on them.
Earlier this month, Nunes devoted part of a bizarre magazine-style campaign mailer to attacking residents of his district who tried to see him at that office.
Among the constituents Nunes attacked were local faith leaders, who responded by imploring Nunes to stop ignoring their requests to meet and discuss issues of importance to the residents of his district.
“We live in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, with hundreds of thousands of people living with vulnerable health, fear of family separation, and housing that is fast becoming less and less affordable,” the group of faith leaders wrote.
According to the Food Research Action Center, more than 25 percent of the children in Nunes’ district live in poverty — and Nunes supports policies that hit the most vulnerable people in his district particularly hard.
He voted for a GOP health care bill that would have stripped 74,000 of his constituents of Medicaid benefits. He has also done nothing to protect migrant families from Trump’s cruel deportation and family separation policies.
By contrast, Democratic challenger Andrew Janz has been holding town halls and other constituent events regularly — and unlike Nunes, Janz doesn’t require a fat check or a frisking at the door from constituents who want to talk to him.
Janz has also promised to protect health care, rather than gutting it as Nunes has voted to do.
One way or the other, Nunes is going to have to face his constituents in a few weeks. And unfortunately for him, voting doesn’t cost a dime.